How Present Are You?

 

By Bindu Adai-Mathew

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There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under heaven:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

                                         a time to mourn and a time to dance,

                                     a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

                                       a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

                                     a time to search and a time to give up,

                                      a time to keep and a time to throw away,

                                   a time to tear and a time to mend,

                                  a time to be silent and a time to speak,

                               a time to love and a time to hate,

                              a time for war and a time for peace.

                             Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

We all have seasons in our lives. Some that we wish would last forever…and others that we are just dying for them to be over.

I remember being in elementary school, and I just couldn’t wait to be older. How cool was junior high going to be when I would have my own locker and be changing rooms for each class! But once I reached junior high, I couldn’t wait to be in high school, convinced that once I learned to drive, my life would drastically improve in the “cool” factor. In high school, I couldn’t wait to be in college, and in college, I just couldn’t wait to be in the “real world,” earning my own money and being on my own. But once I hit the “real world,” I just wanted to go back to college, finally realizing then how good I had had it all along.

You’d think I’d learn from that, but no, I still managed to “wish away” my entire twenties. Rather than taking advantage of the fact that I was single and free to travel, free to do anything I wanted, I, instead, sat around moping and co-lamenting with friends for hours on the phone, in person, over dinner, on how I was dying to be married, convinced that only then (yeah, go ahead, roll your eyes) would my life really begin…

Even now as a new mom, as much as I enjoy my little girl being a baby, I sometimes get too focused on her reaching her next milestone. When she was a newborn, I was so excited for the day she would smile back at me rather than give me one of her gas-induced smiles. I was initially so excited when she started rolling over, but then I quickly got over that one and found myself skipping over a couple of milestones, longing for the day when she would “understand” that I needed her to be still when I changed her diaper. I couldn’t wait for her to crawl, then walk, but then I couldn’t seem to help but long for the day when she would be old enough when I would no longer have to worry about where she was every second of the day for fear she was about to hurt herself in some way. I often forget to truly relish those moments and behaviors that still signify her as a baby. Because I know one day, I will look back and miss the little baby she once was.

It’s good to be excited about the future. God wants us to be excited about the future…but not to the extent that we truly don’t relish what we have at that moment…because one day, that might be the very thing we “wish” for later…

So how present are you in the present?

Take a moment right now for yourself. Close your eyes (after you finish reading the rest of this, of course). Take a deep breath in. Slowly. Now breathe out. Take another even slower, deep breath in. Breathe out slowly. One more time…

Reflect on what God has blessed you with today. Savor it. Enjoy it. Despite whatever struggles you have, God has given you many things for which to be grateful. So be present in this moment, for it like everything, will soon pass.

Lord, thank You for today. Thank You for what You have given me…today. Lord, help me appreciate everything You have blessed me with, for Lord, Your mercies are new every morning. Lord, help me slow down…help me be still and know that You…YOU are God.

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